If you missed Bonnaroo 2014, here’s what Republic artists James Blake, James Bay and The Avett Brothers were up to at the festival, plus some news for their upcoming works and love from the press! Check it out:
J A M E S B L A K E
+ During his first visit to Bonaroo, English singer/songwriter/producer James Blake spoke with Billboard about the progress of his third album, which follows his Mercury Prize-winning 2013 album “Overgrown.”
+ “Every song is about 50 percent done,” Blake tells Billboard at Bonnaroo 2014. “I’m getting there.”
+ Blake, whose trippy amalgam of R&B and woozy electronica have won over fans like Kanye West, released his self-titled debut LP in 2011. Since then, he’s become a cult hero in indie and electronic circles.
+ “I’ve had a completely different life since the first album. I’ve had a lot more freedom since the first album, too,” he says. “The [album] I’m writing now, I’ve had more focus doing this than I have before. I’m having more fun.”
+ Blake says he’s been writing music with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and hopes to collaborate with Kanye West.
+ This past weekend, James Blake ventured to Manchester, TN to perform at Bonnaroo. The singer also sat down for an interview with Billboard to share some exciting news: he’s plotting a new album. According to Blake, the follow-up to 2013’s Overgrown is already halfway finished, and will include collaborations with Kanye West, Justin Vernon, and a mysterious third collaborator who he didn’t name but is “really excited about”.
+ Blake is currently plotting an early 2015 release for the new project. His live show film, meanwhile, remains in the works. Check out the full interview below, as well as the singer’s hour-long Bonnaroo set in full.
J A M E S B A Y
+ Later on Thursday afternoon, 23-year-old Brit James Bay took the stage at the What’s on Tap Miller Lite Lounge and proceeded to switch back and forth between acoustic and electric guitars. While few members of the crowd seemed to know who Bay was — apparently, the singer-songwriter hadn’t been asked to perform at ‘Roo until the previous day, and wasn’t on the printed schedules — he certainly didn’t seem to mind the anonymity. Repeatedly telling listeners how “cool” everything was, Bay bared his soul to the unaware crowd with a collection of personal songs that resembled The Tallest Man on Earth’s oeuvre, but with more electric riffs. With hair that stretched to his shoulders and a black hat covering his head, Bay resembled a “Sea Change”-era Beck, and the audience embraced the personal last-minute performance.
T H E A V E T T B R O T H E R S
1:17 PM: TheAvett Brothers stop by for an interview with Billboard in the press area and talk new music: “We’re in constant contact with (producer) Rick (Rubin) and we’re preparing the next recording now. There’s been a lot of new songs written and demoing the new songs… The stage that we’re at right now is Rick and us listening to the songs together and talking about what is here.”
+ Only The Avett Brothers can rip their guitar, cello, banjo and bass strings to shreds blasting through bluegrass-infused rock one minute and then turn the lights and the electricity off for a stripped-down spiritual. That’s exactly what they did as the sun set over Bonnaroo Sunday, taking a break from chasing each other up and down the stage with their respective solos to gather around the microphone and harmonize a cappella. Earnest and straightforward or chaotic and turned-up, The Avett Brothers work on either end of the spectrum–or at least that’s what the sea of people had to say that stretched across the entire field before them.